by this, all people will know…

…that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Those are the words of Jesus in John 13:35. They come after Christ has given a “new command” of loving one another, just as He has loved them. I had just been listening to a sermon on this passage when I saw a twitter post regarding the following:

I am not going to give any judgment on Mr. Robertson’s words, only that I, as far as my conviction from the Holy Spirit is concerned, whole-heartedly disagree with him. Christ loved us while we were yet dead in our sins (Colossians 2:13/Romans 5:8). Showing this type of unconditional, sacrificial, Christ-like love is precisely how the non-believing world will know we follow a God who offers the same type of love–only His is perfect–to them. (This is, of course, not even touching the issue of the marriage covenant, which I will not do in this post.)

As the granddaughter of an incredible man whose mind has been ravaged  and destroyed by this horrible disease, and as a believer in Jesus Christ, I would like to apologize on behalf of Mr. Robertson’s possibly hurtful words.

It is called “the long goodbye” for a reason…please pray for my Poppop and for my family, especially my mom and uncles. Pray that we would love him well until he passes…

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just “like” Him…?

I was just on Facebook and saw the following:

I had an immediate reaction to it: Is that really all it takes? Is that really all to which He calls us? Jesus loves us, so our responsibility is to “like” Him on Facebook? That makes sense…(please note my sarcasm).

Now, please, if you have God, Jesus, the Bible, etc., etc., listed on your interests section or on your info page, I’m not saying you’re wrong or anything of the kind. I’m simply asking, has social media made it “easier” to “be a Christian”?

Think about it:

  1. We click our “religious beliefs” on our website, and personally-speaking, I now say the actual words, “I am a Christian” very seldom to new friends or acquaintances. Because of course, the first thing you do after meeting someone is add them as a friend and they will certainly do a fair amount of “Facebook stalking” for themselves.
  2. We tweet the verse that we really like for the day on our Twitter account.
  3. We blog (and I realize the irony here) about what God has taught us, instead of having a conversation with a couple of friends over coffee.
  4. Like I already mentioned, we can click “like” to anything and everything Christian, and no one ever questions it.
  5. We answer the conviction to share our faith with our real-life friend by posting something “Christian” on our walls.

I am just concerned that clicking “Christian” on your FB info page becomes the new lie of the hater of our souls, “Of course, you’re a Christian–it’s not like you hate Jesus! You put Him on your FB page, for cryin’ out loud. You’re fine.” Similar to the lie that says, “Just go to church, you’ll be fine. That’s enough.” As I typed those words just then, I believe I summed up my fear of social media regarding our walks with Jesus: that we would think that attaching Him to our websites and tweets is enough.

PLEASE do not hear me saying that we shouldn’t do all those things I mentioned in the list above–obviously, since I’m still blogging and I’ll continue to use my Twitter and Facebook accounts. We just need to be aware that “liking” Jesus on Facebook is not enough to sustain a victorious life with God, in Christ, through the power of the Spirit.

This God-man, Jesus, bids us come and die, as the old hymn says.

He tells us to “take up our cross” and follow Him (Luke 9:23).

Paul exhorts us to “count everything as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7-11).

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Dive head-first into that glorious Gospel and love for a Savior will grow as naturally as apples on an apple tree.

Are you depending on your social media as your “Christian-gauge”? Repent, dear friend. We find life in the Gospel alone. No click of a button or strike of a keyboard will ever replace it.

LOVE.

 

irene? hardly…

I wonder if anyone really thought about what they were doing when they named the hurricane that affected the entire Eastern shore of the United States, “Irene.” The etymology of the name is the Greek word for “peace”: eirene. Peace! Seriously? Not quite…

I laughed to myself when I thought about it. But seriously, names are important. I’m sure you know someone who is named after a grandfather or grandmother. Or perhaps, you have named your child after someone significant. Or maybe you chose a name for a child because it has a certain meaning. I myself, was named in order to have my father’s initials. This may be a girl-thing but, I have already chosen a name for my son (pending an agreement from the unknown husband-to-be): Caiden, named for my two favorite theologians: C.S. Lewis and Aiden W. Tozer. Names are important.

We know from Scripture that God would change people’s names to confirm His work in their lives: Jacob became Israel; Abram became Abraham; Saul became Paul; Cephas became Peter; the unnamed woman with the issue of blood became “Daughter.”

The whole discussion on names brings me to one verse in Acts 4.

12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

This is Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to Jewish rulers and leaders, after he and John were arrested for proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Names are important. One name in particular is of the highest importance: Jesus Christ, Lord of heaven and earth. It is by this name, and this name alone that we, sinners, condemned, unclean, become the righteousness of God.

What other name are you trusting in for “salvation”?

  1. Your own name. Are you self-righteous–working your way into good graces with the Lord? Are you dependent on what you do or don’t do to save you? Do you get your value from what people think of you? Are you trying to earn your righteousness?
  2. Barack Obama or any other president in 2012. Do you have an unbiblical preoccupation with what our government is doing? Do you think salvation or destruction comes with a certain name winning an election? Do you trust the “right” decisions of government instead of trusting the sovereignty of God?
  3. Your School’s name. Do you trust your education to get you the job you need instead of the Lord? Do you think you are better or more worthy of “good” things because of your intellect?
  4. Your occupational title. Is your job your salvation? Do you trust the money and provision you receive from it more than the God who provides the job and the ability to work at all?
  5. Your Doctor’s name. Do you rely more on the doctor’s treatment and advice over trusting the Great Physician? Have you sought the Lord in prayer as much as you have sought the best doctors?
  6. Your spouse’s name. Do you think that life will be perfect when/if you get married? Are you trusting in a spouse for fulfillment instead of the all-satisfying God of Glory?
  7. Your last name. Do you think that because you have a grandmother, or a father, or a child, or a sister who is a believer, that God will give you a pass, while you have not sought the Name Above All Names for yourself? God doesn’t have grandchildren–He has first generation children. Praise Him.

Call upon the name of the Lord, and be saved (Joel 2:32). Names are important.

just do it…

In his book, “The Root of the Righteous,” A.W. Tozer writes,

“Christians habitually weep and pray over beautiful truth, only to draw back from that same truth when it comes to the difficult job of putting it in practice.”

I read that today and was convicted by the Holy Spirit.

I LOVE when the Lord speaks to me. There is seriously NOTHING more exhilarating than hearing a personal word from the God of the Ages! He is so clear sometimes that it gives me goosebumps…

If you read my blog at all, you know that I have been studying and memorizing the book of Colossians this year, adding two verses every Sunday. The Lord has been very gracious to allow my mind to withhold the many, many words of Paul to the church at Colossae. The Lord has used this discipline (for lack of a better word–it actually has been one of the biggest joys of my life) to teach me and speak to me multiple times this year. (Stick with me, I’m going somewhere with this…)

Today, my verses are Colossians 4:5-6:

5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

This is the first time in the book that Paul has directly addressed evangelism, non-believers, etc. So I spent my time going over them and got a pretty good handle on them.

Well, of course since today is Sunday, I went to church. My church has been doing a series called “Imperatives”–the essentials of the Christian journey. You may be able to see where I’m going, by this point. The “imperative” that was discussed today: sharing our faith…I was absolutely struck with God’s intricacy, intentionality, and willingness to teach me something. Filled with awe, encouragement, and enthusiasm, I told several friends how the Holy Spirit had graciously orchestrated those things in order to teach, lead, and speak to my heart. I left church knowing that we serve a living God, who joyfully and eagerly speaks to His children.

While I was relaxing by the pool this afternoon, I was reading the Tozer book that I quoted above and like I said, I was convicted. Here’s how: I was beside myself with excitement about how the Ancient of Days parted the heavens to speak to me, yet I hadn’t spent the crucial time asking Him what He wanted me to DO with what He said. I was reminded today that God doesn’t waste words. If He speaks, it is for a good reason, His reason. By His grace, He allows me to join Him in His purposes on this earth.

I repented. Can I ask you to pray with/for me as I seek to share my faith with the person God laid on my heart?

Do you find yourself embracing truth, yet rejecting the action that the truth requires? Are you an avid “hearer,” yet not a faithful “doer”? What have you heard from the Sovereign God, but not acted in obedience? I would love to hear your stories and how I can pray for you.

LOVE.